Digital Media - Virtual Worlds


Archived report. This report was archived in 2009 and has not been updated since. Virtual worlds are just one example of the developments occurring as part of the Web 2.0 evolution. The most high profile of these is ‘Second Life’; the popularity of this virtual world has exploded over the past couple of years from around 1.5 million users reported in 2006, to nearly 13 million registered users in 2008. However the departure of some high-profile companies in 2007 has the industry wondering if its growth will continue unabated and attention is turning towards its competitors such as With recent entrants such as China’s HiPiHi and the emergence of worlds designed specifically for teenagers and children - this sector continues to be a focus for marketing opportunities. This report provides an overview of virtual worlds, including trends, developments and initial statistics. Second Life is used as a case study.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Introduction
  • 3. Trends and developments
    • 3.1 Virtual worlds for younger users
    • 3.2 Virtual worlds for education
    • 3.3 Virtual malls for shopping?
    • 3.4 Risks of business in a virtual world
  • 4. Virtual world statistics and forecasts
  • 5. Case study: Second Life
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 Recent developments
      • 5.2.1 Second Life departures
      • 5.2.2 Coca-Cola moves to
      • 5.2.3 Second Life voice communications
      • 5.2.4 Virtual Tokyo
    • 5.3 Paul Budde’s Second Life
  • 6. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Number of virtual worlds worldwide – 2007; 2009
  • Table 2 – Growth of Second Life subscribers – 2006 - 2008
  • Table 3 – Market share of Second Life active users by country – 2007
  • Exhibit 1 – Characteristics of virtual worlds
  • Exhibit 2 – Definition of an online avatar
  • Exhibit 3 – Examples of virtual worlds
  • Exhibit 4 – Examples of virtual worlds for younger users
  • Exhibit 5 – Linden Labs ban on gambling
  • Exhibit 6 – Second Life Financials – 2007 - 2008
  • Exhibit 7 – Examples of large companies established in Second Life – 2008
  • Exhibit 8 – Second Life user statistics – 2008

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Digital Media

Number of pages 7

Status Archived

Last updated 25 Mar 2008

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

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